Thames Water rolls out £8.5M sewer scheme to help tackle flooding

A new sewer pipeline is being delivered in Gloucestershire in an £8.5 million (US$11.8 million) project by Thames Water to help tackle flooding.

Using techniques like micro-tunnelling, the 3.8km scheme involves the installation of 1,800 individual sections of pipe between Chesterton and Shorncote, and the construction of a new pumping station.

With new houses being built in Cirencester, and more people working from home, the project will increase wastewater capacity and help prevent some of the flooding problems which affected the Cotswolds earlier this year.

Neil Titchener, head of major projects at Thames Water, said: “This is a big investment by Thames Water that will help protect homes and the environment in the Cotswolds from the kind of weather-related sewer flooding we saw earlier this year.

“By increasing capacity, our network will be able to handle much larger volumes of water. Thanks to a combination of innovation and collaboration, we have overcome many challenges, and are on course to finish ahead of schedule this autumn.”

Some of the challenges presented by the characteristics of the landscape including dealing with high groundwater levels in the Cotswold Water Park. Engineers have also dug out tons of rock, navigated existing utilities and infrastructure – including high pressure gas mains – and tunnelled under roads.

The project is being delivered by KCD, a joint venture between Kier and Clancy for the Thames Water Infrastructure Alliance. The combination of innovation and collaboration means the work is due to finish ahead of schedule this autumn.

Ian Thompson, head of developer services at KCD, added: “The area has a high water table, so we’ve put in well points for each 500 metres of trench.

“Navigating existing utilities and infrastructure has also been important. We’ve used a combination of open cut trenching across fields and them micro-tunnelling under the carriageway and high-pressure gas mains.

“Micro-tunnelling is a trenchless technique for pipe installation, which has allowed us to minimise disruption. It’s important to us that the project’s construction has as little impact as possible.”